The Aged Care Commissioner wants to challenge negative stereotypes and misconceptions about older people and ageing.
Carolyn Cooper is reminding Kiwis to value the wisdom and life experiences of our older people, in marking International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) on Saturday 1 October.
The United Nations marks this day to encourage people to consider the positive contributions made by older people around the world.
Ms Cooper says New Zealanders are living longer.
“By 2034, just over a fifth of our total population - around 1.2 million people, will be over 65. More and more older people continue to work to maintain their active lifestyles. Many older people volunteer and help support families, whānau and communities.
“They are a valuable part of our society and contribute to our communities in many ways – in the paid workforce, as volunteers for organisations, or caring for their partners or even older parents, and for some, raising their grandchildren. This brings enormous and often unrecognised economic benefits.
“Older New Zealanders are healthier than they’ve ever been, working hard to stay fit and healthy, taking an active and positive approach to ageing.
“Good health is fundamental to the wellbeing of older people so they can lead valued, connected and fulfilling lives.
“Sadly at times there are challenges to achieving this and we must ensure there are sustainable and appropriate options for older people across core health services like primary care, community care and aged residential care.
“Equitable, affordable, and accessible health and disability services are vital to ensure older people have the best possible health care whenever and wherever needed.
“I will continue to work with all stakeholders across the aged care and health and disability sectors to leverage our collective powers and functions to advocate and effect positive health outcomes for older people.
“Kia noho ora tonu ngā kaumātau.
“Older people deserve to lead valued, connected and fulfilling lives,” says Ms Cooper.